A Pyrrhic Victory: We nailed the election’s “Rosetta Stone” … really!

My official forecast was wrong, but I did post what was, perhaps, the key decoding ring for the election.

Here’s what I said on November 3 in my post The election’s “Rosetta Stone” … really!

The polls have been bouncing all over the place, and pundits are broadly whining that the reason is difference in “turnout models”.

That is, how many more (or less) Democrats will show up to vote for Obama.

To understand the issue, I framed a related – but inverted — analysis by asking the question: by how much does Dem turnout (in swing states particularly) have to exceed GOP turnout for Obama to win?

The answer: Dem turnout has to be more than about 4 percentage points higher than GOP turnout for Obama to win.

Here’s my summary chart … below it are the assumptions and analytical logic.

From the chart: if Dem turnout is about 8 percentage points more than GOP turnout (as it was in 2008), Obama wins by about 4%; if Dem turnout is less than 4 percentage points greater than the GOP’s, Obama loses.

It’s as simple as that …

But, like many others,I thought that GOP enthusiasm would drive turnout and keep the spread to less than 4%.

Exit polls put the differential at about 6%.

Looking back, the enthusiasm was either overstated, or enthusiasm doesn’t necessarily drive turnout.

Right analysis; wrong core assumption.

The red line is what happened …



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